John and Sue LaRoche are pictured at the EnviroForum holding their newly-published book, The Pourewa Valley Story. The book’s publication, although coincidental to the opening of Stage 2 of the Shared Path, is the perfect companion to it.
The A4-sized soft-cover book relates the rich history of Pourewa Valley, from its geological origins thousands of years ago, to its history of ownership and cultivation by Ngāti Whātua Õrākei, its centrality to the Anglican Church in Auckland, and later the acquisition of parts of it for farming and housing projects,
The book relates many inspiring stories of Aucklanders who have devoted thousands of hours of voluntary labour to removing infestations of weeds and pests whilst restoring the valley’s native flora and fauna. It also follows the unsteady progress of staunch political advocates who prevented the valley from being surrendered to motorway construction.
There are useful guides to bush reserves in the valley, complete with maps, photographs and illustrated information about native trees and birds found en route. The intention is to add QR codes to signposts beside significant trees or places that will enable information to be access by smart phones.
The LaRoches are donating all the proceeds from sales of The Pourewa Valley Story to the Eastern Bays Songbird Project, which John LaRoche co-founded in 2017. To purchase a book ($25 plus $8.40 if you want it posted), contact John by email: email@example.com.
Story and picture by Jan Power